“And it really was a wonderful tea. There was a nice brown egg, lightly boiled for each of them, and then sardines on toast, and then buttered toast, and then toast with honey, and then a sugar-topped cake.” ~ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, page 15.
Every true-blooded Narnian likes a good tea, just like every decent hobbit likes a second breakfast. Mr. Tumnus, one of the noblest of fauns, is a delightful teatime host and a fabulous cook, if I do say so myself. And so, I have procured from the archives at Cair Paravel the recipe that tantalizes taste buds throughout all of Narnia: Mr. Tumnus’ all-around enchanting Sugar-Topped cake.
Without further ado, here is the Magic recipe to get you started on your own Narnian tea:
Actually, no. You need more ado — here are some pictures to document the glorious deliciousness of Narnia cuisine.
A Narnian tea for two, with tea (though I shouldn’t wonder if you hadn’t already guessed that), sardines, apples, sugar-crusted lemons, soft-boiled eggs, candied orange peel, toast with honey and butter, and — this is the most important — Mr. Tumnus’ enchantingly delicious Sugar-Topped Cake.
Mr. Tumnus’ cave was not likely so well-lit, but at least the furnishings would have been fairly similar: books, a map of Narnia, apples from Calormen, and the Magic cake — the recipe for which had been handed down from faun to faun for generations, and now rests in the archives at Cair Paravel.
The food is positively scrumptious here in Narnia; it is completely befuddling that more tourists haven’t arrived to experience it all.
But, in the end, you’ve really only come here for a cake recipe. So let’s get down to it.
As seen in the pictures above:
Toast (and butter, and sardines)
Tea, sugar, and cream
Lightly boiled brown eggs
Candied orange peels
Sugar-topped cake, Tumnus style
The recipe used for this cake came from The Narnia Cookbook (which means it really came straight from the archives at Cair Paravel). Please note that this recipe only makes one 8″ x 8″ cake layer, and if you desire more, double it.
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter
3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 cup raisins, chopped
1/2 cup currants
1/4 cup candied orange peel, chopped fine
1/4 cup blanched almonds
1/4 cup candied cherries (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease an 8″ x 2″ round pan, and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper or waxed paper.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
3. With an electric mixer or by hand, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. Add the flour mixture to the butter and sugar alternately with the milk, beating just until mixed.
5. Fold in the fruit and nuts.
6. Pour the batter into the greased pan.
7. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove to a rack and cool completely. Remove the cake from the pan, and frost with sugar cake frosting. Decorate with candied cherries if desired.
1 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla.
Some Helpful Suggestions From Your Humble Servant, the Narnian (Well, again, that isn’t quite true, because I’m royalty. You get the picture.)
The icing recipe can be doubled or tripled, depending on how large of a Magic sugar coma you’d like to get yourself into — and as far as I’m concerned, the more cherries there are on top, the better it is.
Serve with some soothing Magic flute music, and don’t try the Turkish delight. It doesn’t end very well most of the time.
References: The Narnia Cookbook, Douglas Gresham and Pauline Baynes
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, C. S. Lewis